Mmegi Online :: Khama’s masterstroke
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 11:44 am.
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Khama’s masterstroke

The overwhelming endorsement of Mokgweetsi Masisi as Vice President yesterday is an indication that President Ian Khama has a firm grip of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe 2013-10-01 16:31:00 phpEAC0.tmp.jpg Thu 13 Nov 2014, 17:34 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Khama’s masterstroke








The endorsement comes 18 days after the general elections and controversial court cases that challenged the use of the secret ballot to elect a Vice President, the Speaker and deputy Speaker. Besides the resounding backing for Masisi, Khama’s other favourites, Gladys Kokorwe and Kagiso Molatlhegi were easily elected as Speaker and deputy Speaker respectively.

A political analyst, Anthony Morima said the endorsement of Khama’s people to these strategic positions showed that he is popular within the BDP. “The strategy to bring somebody who is popular within the BDP worked very well for Khama. Masisi has been in BDP structures and has familiarised himself with how the party operates,” said Morima.

After the vote, there were 38 MPs in favour of Masisi’s endorsement while 19 abstained. One vote was spoiled. Fifty-seven elected MPs took part in the election of the Vice President. Out of the 57, 38 including Khama are BDP while 20 are from the opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP).

The election of Speaker and deputy Speaker came after the ruling party lost the case against the secret ballot at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday. The BDP and the Attorney General appealed the case after failing at the High Court on Friday.

Immediately after the Court of Appeal loss, the government

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announced that it had accepted the verdict. Khama, re-elected for a second term last month, wanted lawmakers to vote by a show of hands for his deputy instead of the secret ballot.

New Vice President, Masisi is currently the chairman of communications committee of the BDP. He previously served as a Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. He rose within the BDP prior to the Maun congress in 2012 when he supported legislator, Samson Moyo Guma for the chairmanship. It is believed Masisi had known about his appointment for weeks before he was elected yesterday. Unlike his three predecessors as Vice President, the presidency has said Masisi will continue as a line minister. 

Meanwhile former Kweneng South legislator, Kokorwe was voted as the new Speaker, beating Dr Margaret Nasha to the post. Kokorwe garnered 41 votes against Nasha’s 21 votes.

This means that one MP defied the BDP caucus and voted with the opposition parties for Nasha, who was seeking re-election. Gaborone South MP, Kagiso Molatlhegi of the BDP beat UDC MP for Kanye South, Abram Kesupile in the race for deputy Speaker. Molatlhegi thrashed Kesupile by 42 to 20 votes. It is believed that Nasha’s backers had pleaded with her to withdraw her candidacy on Tuesday night but she refused out of principle.

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